The four Rs of concussion management
the signs and symptoms of a concussion
the athlete from the game or practice
the athlete to a licensed healthcare professional
to school and then to sport based on the recommendations of a medical expert
If an athlete shows or reports any symptoms of concussion, or just “doesn’t feel right”, they should be removed from play and examined by a licensed healthcare professional.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion
- Concussion Recognition Tool (pictured)
- Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT5)
- Concussions: a Fact Sheet for Coaches
- Concussions 101, a Primer for Kids and Parents
- Sport-Related Concussion: Information for Parents and Caregivers
These resources are all recommended by Sport Canada and Public Heath Agency of Canada
To properly treat and manage a concussion, it is important that an athlete is immediately removed from the game or practice following a concussion. However, removing an athlete from play is not an easy decision, which is why it is important to have informed and relevant policies and procedures in place to ensure athletes are protected.
Only a medical professional can officially diagnose a concussion, and there is rarely a licensed medical professional on the field of play. After removing a concussed athlete from the field of play, refer them to a license medical professional to receive an informed diagnosis and recovery plan.
Athletes who return to activities before recovering from a concussion are more likely to sustain a second concussion with more severe symptoms. However, once the brain has healed and with a licensed medical professional's approval, an athlete can gradually start returning to physical activities.
Returning to play safely requires patience, attention and caution, and will be a different experience for every athlete.
“…speaking of protocols, let’s have one. Let’s keep it as simple as possible and as strong and as accurate as possible.”
Eric Lindros, NHL player, Olympic gold medalist, Hockey Hall of Fame, speaking at the Governor General’s Conference on Concussion in Sport
“We were looking at the bruises and blood on her knee and didn’t realize the most serious injury was the concussion in her head.”
Gordon Stringer, father of Rowan Stringer (Rowan's Law)
“You have to teach smart recovery. If you want to play sport long-term then sometimes that means short-term breaks.”
Rosie MacLennan, double Olympic gold medalist
“You can’t expect a concussed athlete to know they are concussed.”
Karolina Wisniewska, eight-time Paralympic medalist, alpine skiing
“I think even when athletes are aware they should take time off, there’s a lot of fear that taking time off you’ll lose you gains that you made in training.”
Tara Whitten, Olympic bronze medalist, cycling
“When you have a concussion, you don’t know you’re repeating your words. You don’t know how out of it you actually are.”
Mercedes Nicoll, Canadian Olympic snowboarder
“I had a choice to make, as an athlete and as a mom: whether to identify all the symptoms I was having, or to hide them. It was really important for me to speak up on behalf of myself and let people know that I needed help.”
Robbi Weldon, Canadian Paralympic cyclist
The harmonized Guideline and toolkit provides tools for:
The latest concussion news from SIRC
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How the Sport of Ringette is Putting a Values Lens on the Concussion Issue
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Concussion in Sport - Translating Evidence into Action
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Being Smart about Concussions
After concussion: Student-athletes return-to-learn
Need to Know Facts about Concussions
Concussions and success don’t often belong in the same sentence. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of organizations across Canada and the harmonized guidelines, Canadian athletes are better protected from the long-term risks of concussions than ever before.
Here are some success stories from athletes and sport organizations in Canada:
Download your concussion toolkit
Help spread awareness about concussions with posters, videos and other marketing materials.
In these files you’ll find ready-made communication tools for spreading the campaign messages within your organization. Please contact us if you would like source artwork to create your own co-branded versions.
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We’ve assembled some of the valuable Concussion awareness and prevention resources made available through our partners. Please download or use as inspiration to make your own tools.
Concussion Recognition Tool
Concussions: a Fact Sheet for Coaches
Concussions 101, a Primer for Kids and Parents
Sport-Related Concussion: Information for Parents,and Caregivers
Canadian Harmonized Concussion Protocol Template
Canadian Harmonized Concussion Protocol Checklist
Medical Assessment Letter
Medical Clearance Letter
Sport Concussion Assessment Tool - 5th Edition (SCAT5)
Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool - 5th Edition (Child-SCAT5)
Pre-Season Concussion Education Sheet
Canadian Sport Concussion Pathway
Sport-Specific Return-to-Sport Strategy Adaptation Tool
What’s Your Concussion IQ?
Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool
Player Code of Conduct
Hockey Canada: Team Meetings
Hockey Canada: Emergency Action Plan for Hockey
Created by Parachute Canada, Concussion Ed gives Canadian parents, youth and educators free access to critical concussion resources.
A tool from Hockey Canada for anyone interested in learning about the prevention, recognition, and response to a concussion, including responsible return-to-play protocol.
World Rugby’s concussion app, designed for anyone involved in Rugby - players, coaches, parents, teachers, match officials, spectators, and anyone else with a role or interest in the Game.